Hay need increases for cows
BILL Hallas knows how tough drought conditions can be for farmers.
The former Gatton saleyard auctioneer has seen many difficult times as a livestock agent and as a grazier himself.
Running 60 head of cattle across his two Lockyer Valley properties, Mr Hallas said it was important small farm owners did not expect to “fatten” their livestock during the drought.
He said an adequate supply of hay and access to a lick block would ensure cattle achieved the correct nutrients to maintain their health.
For the 20 head at his house farm, Mr Hallas said the majority of hay was provided to cows in-calf, as they had “double the job to do”.
“I’m not providing too much hay at all (for the rest of the stock), it would be less than one round bale a week,” he said.
Mr Hallas reserves a six-acre paddock each year, which he bales for his own use to get him through tough seasons.
In addition to the hay, he provides a lick block to give the herd minerals to convert the hay into energy and protein.
“The cattle will tell you if they don’t want it,” he said.
Not only is it vital to supply feed and lick but Mr Hallas said to ensure no twine or foreign objects were accessible to cattle.
He said when feeding hay, be sure to pick up string and twine.
“When it’s dry like now, I’ve seen them eat poly pipe because they are lacking food and they will try anything they can pick up,” he said.